One of the greatest places in all of Toronto to tone your abs isn’t at an exclusive gym or with an in-demand personal trainer. It’s at The Second City. The most insanely fun night ever and a side-splitting ab workout? You’re missing out, especially if you haven’t check out We Can Be Heroes, now playing. Kevin Vidal is one of the six writers and performers behind the collection of hilarious sketches and songs based on everyday heroes who flex their courage against everything from bullies to sea creatures. We caught up with Vidal to find out more about his exciting life on stage making people laugh…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
My name is Kevin Vidal. I grew up in Toronto. I’m half Filipino and half Guyanese and I’m currently performing in Second City’s We Can Be Heroes.
How did you get involved with The Second City and what have been some of your wildest experiences there thus far?
I started with The Second City through the classes they offer. I did their basic improv classes (Levels A through E) and then their Conservatory course. During my last week of Conservatory I got hired as an understudy for Nigel Downer who was a part of his first Mainstage revue. Soon after, I got hired for their touring company. Wildest experience? I’m not sure if I can recall a wild experience, but there sure have been very unpredictable things to come from the audience. During a family show, my cast (at the time) improvises a blues song for our finale and a woman’s chair fully gave out on her right off the top of the song. The audience, including ourselves, didn’t really know what to do, but the guy singing first managed to work his way around it and sing to her for a bit. She was laughing and fine but it was a pretty shocking moment.
When did you know you were funny?
I’m not sure if I am actually funny… but I do enjoy making people laugh. I think one of the first times I can recall making people laugh was in Grade 5. We had to act out little scenes from Remember the Titans and I got the scene where Coach Boon is going over old football tapes with Coach Yoast’s daughter and Boon tells her to go play his daughter. I played Coach Boon’s daughter and had the one line, “I’m not playing, I’m accessorizing.” I got asked to say that line many times that day.
Give us one of your jokes that has killed it in the past?
I’m not sure… I don’t really have any jokes and I’m a terrible story teller and have a terrible memory for remembering my own experiences… If there was anything I said that has killed it in the past it would have probably been one line that would not make sense unless you were there: “Chair Wings.” I’ll let your imagination do the rest of the work.
When you’re looking for new comedy material, where do you look for inspiration?
Life. People around me, my experiences. I’ve definitely tried to pull material from other people’s lives and it has always failed. I’m very much a personal performer/writer, if that makes sense.
Who have been some of the most influential comedians on your career and who are some of the funniest people alive today?
People that inspire me are Rowan Atkinson, Bill Cosby, Shaun Micallef, Chris Lilley, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Aries Spears, Stephanie Weir. There are probably a lot more. I also find all those people incredibly hilarious today, but I think the people that make me laugh the most are my cast members and some of my closest friends, who have also been inspirations.
What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
I don’t know if I have a lot – finishing my first revue has really been my highlight. Oh! Two Door Cinema came to the show back in November and invited us to their concert! That was awesome!
What’s the big dream?
The big dream is to live off of acting. There is no settling. In terms of the next big dream? Starting something independent.
What is one possibly disturbing thing that never stops being funny to you know matter what?
Kids walking into poles or glass gets me every time… Saw it happen the other day – highlight of last week.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
You can follow me on Twitter.